It's time we get gooey and sappy around here and I tell you all about how I met and fell in love with Greg. I am going to tell you this not because we are celebrating our anniversary or engagement and not because it's Valentines day, but because it is January and snowing buckets outside and cold and miserable and what better way to forget about a cold, dreary day then to remember how you once fell in love with your lover? (Wow, run on sentence queen over here!)
CAUTION: This one's a doozey! Read when you've got a minute because wow, I can ramble on about Hubs!
The first time I laid eyes on Greg was a lazy summer Sunday afternoon. I lived in Branbury apartments in Provo. My apartment location was ideal for a people watcher like me. It had a beautiful little balcony that looked out on the parking lot. My roommates and I spent many a day spying on the doings of our neighbors. We had lawn chairs and wicker tables and we practically spent every waking moment of the summer watching the world come and go.
I was sitting out on the balcony one Sunday with my good friend and neighbor, Brooke. We watched people on skateboards. Saw a girl storm out of a car. Observed an awkward couple try to play catch. Then we saw three boys walking across the parking lot, all dressed up in white dress shirts and ties. They were going to do their "home teaching"- a program in the Mormon church where everybody visits someone else once a month to make sure that all is good in their hood.
Before I say anything else I should mention that at that point in my life I had a giant pink streak in the front of my hair. You see, that summer was a summer of absolute freedom to me. I was in an awesome in between stage- I had graduated from college and secured a teaching job for the fall. But for those three months I was no longer a student, not yet a working, society contributing adult. I was an in betweener, and to celebrate it only seemed fitting that I did something totally wild and reckless like dye my hair pink. (Post written during that time is here.)
These pictures were taken literally days before I met Greg.
I knew one of the boys walking across the parking lot, but the other two were strangers to me. One of the strangers, a good looking ginger, shouted out to me. "Bonnie! It looks like the pink in your hair is getting darker!"
The pink in my hair was indeed "getting darker." I had redyed it just the day before. (Fast fact about bright pink hair dye- you have to redye it every two weeks to keep the color vibrant.) I was shocked, however, that the redhead even knew I had redyed my hair since I had never spoken to him before. I laughed awkwardly and said, "Ha! Yah! You're pretty smart..."
The boys went into a neighbor's apartment to fulfill their home teaching assignment. I whipped around to Brooke. "Who is that?" "Uh... I think his name is Greg. He just moved in. I think he lives with Zac."
I was intrigued.
To say the least.
When the boys came back out of their apartment, I was armed and ready. Greg had started flirting with me with the smooth little pink hair line, and by golly was I going to finish the flirtation.
"Hey! Where you guys going?!?" I yelled as the walked out of the apartment.
Greg was quick to catch on to my flirtations. "Uh... we're just headed back to our apartment right now... but we're making hot dogs if you want to come over."
Shoot. I already had plans with a guy I was semi interested in (We all know now he quickly fell by the wayside.) But I couldn't let Greg think that his invitation had fallen on deaf ears. I was interested and needed to let him know that.
"Well I can't right now but you can come over later to make me a hot dog..." I paused. "... with your shirt off!"
I never really know for sure why I added that last part, why the first thing I ever said to my future husband was a request to come over and cook shirtless for me. I suppose that always a performer for my friends, I was emboldened by Brooke's presence, and empowered by Greg's obvious interest in me. Enough to say something totally stupid.
Greg just kind of looked back at me. He was confused and intimidated. "Uh.... yah... maybe..." and he and his friends laughed and wandered back to their apartment.
Brooke and I shrieked and giggled. Oh, wasn't it so fun to be young and crazy and to say wild things to single boys strolling across the apartment lot? I had most definitely scared off that redhead that thought he might like me, but hey, what can you say for a girl who has hot pink in her hair?
I came home that night to a note taped to my apartment door. It read:
Dearest Bon Bon,
I came over with my shirt off to make you a hot dog, but alas, you were not home. Nevertheless, I think you are one great gal.
So I hadn't scared him off.
A couple of days later Greg and his friends "stopped by" my apartment to invite me to "play games or something." I had all my girlfriends over so I told him we'd have to raincheck and he stood there with his four friends behind him,and said "Yah. Ok. Some other time." To this day I think it is so cute how Greg brought his entourage... made his friends come with him to talk to a girl he had a big crush on.
About a week later we were looking for extra card players around my place. I looked up Greg's phone number in the ward directory. (Awesome thing about being Mormon- you get a list of all the phone numbers of the people who attend the same meetings as you.) He didn't answer. So I left a message. "Hey Greg! It's Bonnie! We're playing "Bang!" over at my place. It's not as dirty as it sounds- but it's probably just as fun!" (Bang! is one of my favorite card games ever. It's a western mystery where you all have secret identities and try to kill each other.)
Greg called back a few minutes later. My message had been just the bait he needed.
And thus he came over to play cards. I remember how he conveniently figured out ways to switch the seats so he could sit by me and how he brushed the side of my leg with his finger, ever so softly. Ever so timidly. I was pretty sure he was flirting with me, but maybe he was just touching me accidentally? He was just subtle enough that I questioned it all. I was the "Sheriff" in the game and he was my "deputy." I ordered him around (practice for the future) and we teamed up to win the game. All the while I had butterflies in my stomach as he inched his chair closer over to mine.
After everyone had gone home I got a text from Greg. It read, "So. What number does a deputy have to call to get a date with the sheriff? It's all so confusing..." (I had originally called him on my roommate's phone because mine was out of battery but then had later texted him from my phone. Yes, it was confusing and if you have it all figured out in your head you are a genius.)
I told him that this was indeed my number.
I was in the middle of the social security office, waiting to get a new card for the one I had lost when Greg called.
"Hellooooo....." I swooned.
"Hey Bonnie... It's Greg..."
"Hi Greg...." I really drag out my words when I'm nervous.
"I've got three options for you. Option #1: I take you out to dinner at 7. But if we go out to dinner it has to be to Cafe Rio or pizza pie cafe. Option #2: I take you out for ice cream at 9. Sub zero because I know that's your favorite. Or, option #3 is that you don't want to go out with me. I really hope you don't choose option number three."
I giggled and flirted right there in front of all the other people waiting for their social security card. Flirting with boys is such fun! "Oh, wow! You have it all planned out! Uh... I like option #2..."
And thus the stage was set for our first date. I couldn't pick Option #1 because Bachelor was on at 7 and even back then, I had Bachelor priorities!
Greg picked me up right on time, my married friend who was over, Crazy A interrogated him and Crazy A's husband lied and said he was my brother and if Greg did anything to me he would kill him. You know, normal first date stuff.
We talked all night long, never running out of things to say. I thought he was cute and funny, and honestly, a little weird. Quirky. Eccentric. I was drawn to that like a moth to a flame. He had something that other boys I dated didn't have, but I couldn't quite put a finger on it. I am weird enough myself and in those very first hours of dating I believe that that was what first connected- his weirdness to my weirdness. He told me all about his family and how he wants to be an actor even though that's totally crazy, and how he thought I was pretty.
When he dropped me off he looked at me and said, "Bonnie. I'm really interested in you. And I hope this goes somewhere. I want to take you out again."
I was shocked at how open he was. You can't just tell a girl that on the first date! You have to act cool! You have to send a text after the date and then wait three days to call again! There's a facade we must hide under, don't you know?!? He was so different from other boys I had dated. So honest and sincere... his guard was totally down and I felt like he was holding absolutely nothing back from me. He was so transparent and after years of dating being a muddled mess of games and lies I found his honesty so totally refreshing.
So I said, "Are you free tomorrow?"
Our first ever picture together, taken the night after our first date.
(This is a two part story. Part two can be found here)